Making Slime

About: Chemistry/Creative Tech double major, Berry College

Making slime is a simple, quick way to create a fun, tactile play thing that is great for both kids and college students putting off studying for exams!

Step 1: Things You Will Need

- glue

- borax*

- lotion

- acrylic paint

- bowl

- plastic syringe

- spoon

- baggies

*Please note: be careful with the borax solution, as some people, especially children, may have a skin sensitivity to it. If you are making this with kids, be careful not to expose them to the borax solution too much, as their skin is thinner than an adults and could potentially become irritated.

Step 2: The Process

First, pour some glue into your bowl. Remember, the size of your slime will depend on how much glue you use, and the bigger the slime, the longer the process. Once you feel you have a comfortable amount, add lotion to the mix. I used Unicorn Foam Lotion, first of all because it sounded magical and smelled amazing, but also because the foaming of the lotion gives the slime a sort of "poofy" quality that I really like. With the foam, I did enough to cover the surface of the glue -- otherwise, any standard skin repair lotion will work (use roughly 2-4 spoonfuls)!

Next, slowly start adding concentrated borax solution (about 5 mL at a time, between mixing) with the syringe. I stopped around 20-30 mL each time, but a lot of this part takes getting used to the feel of the slime and hitting the consistency you prefer! To get your borax solution, add the powdered borax to a cup or bowl and add water to dissolve it. I like to add water until most, but not all, of the borax is dissolved. This will ensure roughly the same concentration each time, as the water can only ever dissolve so much of the powder.

Once the glue begins to solidify, it's time to get your hands dirty! Pick up the most solid portion of the glue from the bowl. Now, I use the term "solid" very loosely -- the glue is still going to be runny, with some cottage cheese-like lumps in it, and that's perfectly fine! Begin to knead the glue in your hands, and if it's painfully sticky, dip your fingers in the borax solution and slowly work it to the point where you can comfortably stretch and play with it. Remember, the slime wants to stick to itself more than it does to you, so the best way to get it off your hands is to keep the ball moving. Otherwise, it will settle and want to hold on to you.

I've found that people with dryer skin have a harder time getting it to not stick to their hands. There are a couple options with this: thoroughly moisturize your hands before playing with it, keep playing with it and tough out the annoyance until your hands get used to it, or keep dipping your fingers in the borax little by little until you're comfortable!

With the first couple batches that you make, you might miss the consistency mark that you like -- that's perfectly fine! Stay patient with it and keep working! Eventually you'll develop a feel during the mixing process for what you like. If your slime is too runny, add more borax! If it's too sticky, try some more lotion on the slime or your hands! If it hardens too much, slowly add more glue and knead away until it softens up! There's always a way to salvage a batch, so don't get discouraged!

Lastly, it's time for color. There are several options for coloring your slime, such as food dye, paint, soft clay, eye shadow, etc.. I will warn you, the food dye will come off on your hands, especially if you use a large amount. I prefer acrylic paint because it is easy to mix and won't come off on your hands once it is! You can color during the mixing process or once the slime is made. I prefer to do it at the very end because I love watching the white slime start to mix with the paint and, to me, it seems simpler.

Step 3: Have Fun!

Play away and survive finals week with friends and blue hands! (This was the batch we learned about the woes of too much food dye...)

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